Effective policy is essential to nurturing the supportive context required for health professionals to provide the best possible care. From the integration of EMTCT into national HIV/AIDS strategies to the prioritization of women and girls as key populations for addressing health inequity, we’ve seen time and time again that supportive policy can be the catalyst that allows capacity building, practice improvement, and human-centered innovation to reach maximum scale and maximum impact.
Policy is one of three major pillars of Seed Global Health’s new 5-year strategy. The decision is very intentional. We firmly believe that engaging policymakers and institutional policy influencers can and will help to redefine the value of health with human potential and skill at the core.
Building health capacity and healthcare leadership requires human expertise at all levels. But whether in the clinic or the classroom, skilled health professionals cannot thrive if they are not first valued. As we work with policymakers, Seed seeks to establish pathways that provide better care for more people:
- We will inform effective public policy that increases access to professional educational opportunity, to high-quality learning, and to clinical resources necessary for delivering care.
- We will advocate with individuals and institutions policy that supports hiring and retention of skilled health professionals.
- We will work with ministries and municipalities to support their policy roadmaps to nurture long-term growth in the local health sector, particularly to help further integrate all types of health professionals into health systems, from community health workers to specialized physicians.
- And we will partner with leaders at all levels to consider how their decisions can empower healthcare professionals – and ultimately, improve conditions for the patients who rely on these skilled providers.
Healthcare cannot be solved myopically. While interventions that are highly focused on one community or condition help improve targeted health outcomes, there’s no technology, no specialty, no single disease, no one hospital that can be solely addressed to raise the entire standard of care in low-resource countries. A holistic, people-centered approach help links viable solutions with supportive policy, and demonstrates the power of health to improve not only patients’ lives and personal well-being, but also countries’ economic and national security and prosperity.
It’s by investing in people as changemakers that we can translate lessons from the field into sustainable and systemic health improvement. We have never focused holistically or enough on this critical investment. Creating change through governance and policy helps scale that human impact even faster.